Cobalt is developed by Oxeye Studios and published by Mojang. In Cobalt players take on the roll of a little robot of the same name, as he is on his mission to find out what happened to the Human colony of the planet Trunkopia. You will then find yourself exploring the planet, uncovering its mysteries as you go.
Going into playing Cobalt I was expecting yet another generic game from the classic platform genre, and to say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement. There is so much more going on than just traversing different level layouts with enemies aimlessly wandering left and right as you proceed. And to play it as such will leave you constantly dying and getting frustrated. You need to think about how you approach each and every situation. For example there’s always an alternate route to flank the A.I. which will lead to much more satisfying results. Whilst on the subject of the A.I., as mentioned above they don’t just wander around. They react to you and your movements so if you enter an area and go guns blazing you’ll more than likely find yourself quickly surrounded by enemies that have also called for reinforcements.
You can of course opt for a more stealthy approach. Once you have found a piece of armour that adds invisibility to Cobalt, you can crouch to activate it and sneak around levels without being spotted which again gives you alot more choice in how you play. The controls system is a little quirky to start with, but once you get the hang of what buttons do what, it sort of clicks into place and plays really well. There’s some other elements that come into play with Cobalt, the main one and one of its big selling points is the bullet time moments that occur quite often. These are triggered automatically when bullets and grenades are fired at you and become quite close.
This gives you the opportunity to use one of Cobalt’s really cool features and that is to roll into a bullet and send it back in the direction it came. Of course this is by no means a god like quality as being caught in the feet will kill you, so the timing is crucial and will start to become second nature along with the rest of the controls as you play. This then becomes really fluid and what makes Cobalt such a joy to play. There is also an element of adventure too, with plenty of hidden areas and rooms that can be accessed if you go looking for them, often giving out rewards.
There are a few other adventure style elements incorporated into cobalt, such as weapon and ammo management which will see you visiting the limited supplied stores throughout the game, so ammo preservation is a must. You don’t want to get caught short in an area with a fair amount of enemies, as you’ll find yourself on the back-foot struggling to get through certain parts. As I mentioned earlier, you can also upgrade your armour too. This quite often comes from finding bits whilst killing enemies, with some being purchasable from store/vending machines. The same goes for weapons, with the added bonus of being able to upgrade them back at the ship.
There’s some nice dialogue in Cobalt, although you will have to read it as the characters all ‘bleep’ and ‘bloop’ along with the text as it pops up on screen. you’ll also find some sections where you’ll have a choice of things to say too, although I’m not too sure as to whether these choices make any difference to which ending you get (of which there are three) it just adds to the immersion of the game.
Aside the story mode you can play Challenges and local multiplayer games in the arcade section. challenges consist of time trial and combat modes. With time trials being pretty straight forward get from A to B in the fastest possible time. Combat challenges will have you going after a specific target or targets and eliminate them within a set time. All of these feature online leaderboards. The multiplayer games consist of Deathmatch, Team-Strike and Plug slam. Whilst playing these in arcade mode you can fill the game with bots if you wish. I’ll also mention at this point that you can play the story in local co-op too.
Playing over Xbox live is limited to just Deathmatch, Team-Strike and Plug Slam. these game modes are really fun to play, and I’m pretty sure once the game is launched and lobbies are filled with real people (from 4-8 per lobby depending on the game mode) it will be even better! Visually Cobalt is fairly detailed and overall looks really nice, although some of the on screen text can be a little small. Which could possibly be worked around if there was some way to zoom in a little bit. Though this minor fault can be overlooked as Cobalt has so much more going for it. I love the soundtrack the title music is really catchy and to me is reminiscent of 80’s action movie music.
Check out our preview to see the game in action